Before Christmas I mentioned a story sale, and I’m now pleased to be able to announce that my sheep-in-space effort, “Lost Sheep” will be appearing in NewCon Press‘s next anthology, Dark Currents. I’m really pleased about this. It’s got a wonderful cover by Ben Baldwin (I’ll link to it once it’s finalised), and it’s got an awesome list of authors on the contents page: Adrian Tchaikovsky, Adam Nevill, Tricia Sullivan, Rod Rees, Nina Allan, Andrew Hook, Finn Clarke, Lavie Tidhar, Jan Edwards, Emma Coleman, Rebecca J Payne, Sophia McDougall, Una McCormack, Aliette de Bodard, V.C. Linde.
For me this is a close-to-perfect line-up. It contains an excellent mix of writers whose work I love, writers I haven’t read nearly enough of and writers who are new to me. Even if I weren’t involved in this book, I’d be lining up at the launch at this year’s Eastercon to bag myself a copy. Maybe even treat myself to a signed, limited edition.
This might be a good time to unpack that gnomic sheep-in-space reference that I’ve been bandying around for a while now, and tell you a little about the story. Lost Sheep owes its existence pretty much entirely to GSFWC member, Marco Piva. Some time ago, he wrote a very good space opera story with a carpet in it. And, it has to be said, that my critique of the story (which had many other admirable facets) got kinda fixated on the carpet. I was blinded by the carpet. By the idea of the carpet, on a space ship. Marco chose, possibly wisely, to ignore my demands to MAKE MORE OF THE CARPET, but I was left with something of an obsession. And the only way to exorcise it was to write it.
So, “Lost Sheep” is a story of a carpet. And it’s a story of space-faring sheep, sort of. Since it’s also set in the universe of my earlier story, The Euonymist, there are elements of cultural appropriation in there too. And a wise-cracking space ship who’s obsessed with old movies. How does that all fit into a story? There’s only one way to find out…
Dark Currents is published at Easter 2012. I’ll link to the publisher’s website when it opens for pre-orders. Meantime, if you’re somehow not intrigued by the combination of carpets, sheep and old movies (IN SPACE!), you still have new work by Nina Allen, Aliette de Bodard, Tricia Sullivan, Una McCormack, Andrew Hook, Adam Nevill, Lavie Tidhar, Adrian Tchaikovsky and many, many others to look forward to.
I know I am.